More and more people each year start blogging hoping that this will let them earn some money on the side.
While it’s true that blogging can be very profitable and may become your main stream of income, unfortunately most people make either no money blogging or make very little.
Definitely blogging is not one of those “fast ways” of making money online.
If you’re just starting out you should know that it may take you at least 6-12 months before you begin to see some results.
If you don’t get discouraged you will eventually achieve success, but it may take some time.
Because most people who create blogs do it with the intention of monetizing them that is why in this blog post I am going to tell you how you can turn a blog into a business and finally start making money online.
First of all it’s best to create a blog on WordPress. It’s the most popular blogging platform.
It’s easy to use, there are many plugins available thanks to which you can enhance the functionality of your blog and sites powered by WordPress tend to rank well in Google.
It’s also important to choose the right hosting provider.
Don’t look for the cheapest option because you always get what you pay for.
If you want to make money with your blog you need a reliable hosting provider, otherwise you’ll be experiencing different issues that may hinder the growth of your online business.
OK, once your blog is ready and you’re determined to start making some money with it, let’s see what options you have.
Find and join affiliate marketing programs
This is the best way to start making money with your blog for beginners and not only.
There are many experienced internet marketers who still make a lot of money each month from affiliate marketing which means that this kind of earning money online is for everyone.
Affiliate marketing is all about promoting and selling products or services created by someone else and earning a commission for each sale.
It goes without saying that the higher the commission the more money you will make.
So for example if you manage to sell something that costs $1000 and the commission is 50% that means that you earn $500 for each sale.
However it’s not always easy to sell something that costs $1000, so sometimes it’s better to focus on promoting cheaper things.
You won’t earn that much for each sale, but if you can sell many cheaper products then you will still make a nice amount of money.
All you have to do is find relevant affiliate programs and join them.
It's always best to choose recurring affiliate programs.
For example, if your blog is about fitness then join affiliate programs through which you can promote products related to fitness, health, diet, supplements.
If you have a blog about online business then you can join affiliate programs that will let you promote hosting services, WordPress themes, autoresponders, plugins etc.
Once you join an affiliate program you will get your affiliate link which then you can promote to start earning commissions.
Probably Amazon’s affiliate program is the most popular one, but there are many other options.
Clickbank is also a good place to go.
If you find a product which you would like to promote on your blog, then just find out if you can sell it through an affiliate program.
In order to find affiliate programs within your niche just type in Google, e.g. “fitness” + “affiliate program” or “gardening” + “affiliate program” or “fishing” + “affiliate program”.
Affiliate programs let everyone make money online, but if you want to be a successful affiliate marketer you first need to acquire the proper skills.
Create your own products
Affiliate programs are great but it’s always promoting someone else’s stuff in exchange for a commission.
With your own products it’s different.
You keep the whole profit. You don’t need to share your profits with anyone.
Of course you can always create your own affiliate program and start paying commissions to those who promote and sell your products, but you don’t have to do it.
What’s more, keep in mind that if you promote someone else’s products in order to earn a commission, the owner of these products can any day decide to stop selling them online and withdraw them from the market.
What will happen then?
All your affiliate links will stop working, all the effort you put in promoting those products will go to waste, you will not earn a commission any more.
However something like this will never happen if you create your own products and sell them through your blog. You have a full control over your own products.
That is why sooner or later you should start thinking about creating your own digital products, such as ebooks, reports, software, trainings …
What are people looking for online most often? Information!
Information is something that sells, people want information on different subjects.
If you can provide it to them in the form of an ebook, report, or some training you will start making money and you will keep 100% of the profits for yourself.
Creating your own products is one of the best ways of earning money online.
However you don’t have to limit yourself to digital products only. Your blog is a great place to promote physical products too.
Think about online stores. When you want to buy a pram you look for it online.
You may find a good article about prams on one of the blogs and make a purchase through the link on that blog.
Then the owner of that blog will make a commission (if the product doesn’t belong to him) or will keep 100% of the profits for this sale if it is his own product.
This is what traditional offline stores can do.
If you have a pet where do you buy food for this pet?
If you do it online then it’s quite possible that you’re buying it from an offline store which also sells its products online through a website.
And you can do the same on your own blog?
Try to sell not only digital products (which probably is the best option because you don’t have to pay for shipping for example), but also physical ones.
Create membership sites
What does it mean? It simply means that you create content on your blog which is not available to everyone, but only to those who pay a monthly membership for access to it.
This is what some blog owners are doing.
It basically means that on your blog you create content for everyone, which means that all visitors to your blog can have access to it and you also create premium content for paid members – in this case if someone wants to read the premium content they have to pay for it.
Some sites create only paid content, there’s no free content on them.
What the owners of such sites do is they first build an email list consisting of people interested in the given subject and then – when they become paid members – they send them emails once or twice a week for a few months with premium content which they can read on their blogs.
Once the paid members have received all of the premium content they stop paying for it and then you need to find a new group of people who might be interested in what you’re selling.
You can automate this whole process by using an autoresponder.
So this is something you do once and earn for a long time.
Passive income at its best.
Use your blog to sell your services
Just as you can create blog posts to promote different products on your site in the same way you can create posts in order to promote your services.
For example, if you’re a copywriter you can create content related to improving writing skills.
If you’re good at SEO you can create content about search engine optimization and in this way attract visitors to your site who would be interested in your services.
If you’re good at teaching a foreign language write blog posts about the best ways of learning a second language.
If you know how to grow an online business create content about different aspects of online marketing and promote your services at the same time.
If people visiting your blog will see that you know what you’re talking about some of them may want to take advantage of your knowledge and experience and start paying you for your services.
Sell Advertising space
This is another good way of making money with your blog.
However first you need to have a lot of traffic on your site, otherwise who will want to pay you for advertising on your blog?
So this option of making money through your site is available only to those who already drive a lot of visitors to their sites.
For example if you have a popular blog in the health niche then you can expect to start getting questions from other bloggers in the same or similar niche or from companies creating supplements or training gear about the possibility of advertising on your site.
This can be a really profitable way of monetizing your blog, and what’s more – it’s a great source of passive income.
However you may make money not only by putting advertisements on your blog but also by publishing on it someone else’s articles - these are called sponsored posts.
It basically means that you publish someone else’s article on your blog and receive money for it.
If your blog is popular and many people visit it each day then such a blog post published on your site can bring a lot of benefits to another blogger or the sponsor.
Email marketing – start building your list of subscribers
“Money is in the list” – this phrase has been repeated over and over again for a long time.
You will hear from many internet marketers that you should be building your email list because it’s one of the best ways of making money online.
And it’s hard not to agree with it!
Email marketing is all about building your email list first and then sending emails to this list.
Sometimes these should be educational emails providing some value to your subscribers and sometimes these should be promotional emails in which you’re trying to sell something to make money.
Of course you shouldn’t exaggerate with promotional emails! This will only lead to a high unsubscribe rate.
If your subscribers know you and like you and trust you then email marketing can make you a lot of money.
In order to start building an email list you need:
- landing page or an opt-in form with some free gift (it could be an ebook, a video, a short report answering some specific question, e.g. How you can lose weight exercising only 2 minutes a day)
- autoresponder – this is a special piece of software that allows you to automate your email marketing.
And of course you also need traffic. If very few people see your landing page then it won’t be easy for you to build a list of subscribers.
There are some special tools/plugins thanks to which you can build landing pages and opt-in forms yourself.
They will not only save you money (you won’t have to hire anybody to do it for you) but also time – they’re very easy to use.
Placing Google ads on your site makes sense only when you have a ton of traffic.
This method of making money online works great for some people and they earn thousands of dollars each month with display ads.
Can you do the same? Sure, but remember that if you’re just starting your blogging journey it will take you quite a lot of time before you begin to generate some serious traffic to your site.
Of course, over time, as you produce a lot of content and start to attract many visitors to your blog, Google ads can become a good source of income for you.
On the other hand, however, there are some bloggers who claim that blog ads suck and it’s better to focus on other methods of blog monetization.
For example, according to Smart Blogger, you shouldn’t be using blog ads (including Google ads) because they:
- pay you peanuts
- undermine your blog’s goals
- make you look sleazy
- force you to work for “the man”
- make your blog look ugly
- make you look like an amateur … and more.
The final decision belongs to you. The longer you run a blog the better you will know what works for you and what doesn’t.
So as you can see there are at least 7 ways to monetize your blog.
If you’re just a beginner and you’re thinking of making some money on the side with your blog then I would recommend you to stick to affiliate marketing at first.
As an affiliate marketer you don’t need your own product, you don’t have to worry about packaging or shipping, all you have to do is promote the given product, drive traffic to it and make as many sales as you can.
After a while, once you get some experience and knowledge, you can create your first digital product (or maybe a physical one) and keep 100% of the profits for each sale.
And don’t forget about email marketing!
If you build an email list you can always promote affiliate products or your own products to this list and generate revenue faster.
What I like about blogging is that the longer you do it, the more chances there are that you will start making money. Over time it can only get better.
As you create more content, more of your blog posts can be found online and more visitors you can attract to your blog.
And usually more traffic means more sales and sales equals money.
Where can you learn how to monetize your blog?
Now is a great time to start building your online business because each year more and more people begin to use the Internet.
What does it mean if the number of people using the Internet is growing?
It means that each year there are more potential buyers online.
And if there are more potential buyers it means that there’s more money to make for people who have their own blogs or ecommerce websites.
You can always try to achieve success by trial and error, but this may eventually discourage you and make you quit, in this case stop blogging.
Isn’t it better to learn from someone who has gained the knowledge which you’re trying to gain now and has already achieved what you’re trying to achieve?
There are different places where you can learn the art of blogging and one of them is Wealthy Affiliate.
It’s a newbie friendly platform for everyone who’s thinking about creating a blog and earning money with it.
You don’t need to be a paid member in order to benefit from Wealthy Affiliate.
In fact you can create a free account and then build your first blog on WordPress within a minute or two.
There are some educational materials available for free members, such as Wealthy Affiliate Online Entrepreneur Certification (10 free lessons).
And if you decide that blogging and making money online is something you really want to do for a living, then you can always upgrade to a Premium account and take advantage of everything that Wealthy Affiliate has to offer.
Remember that blogging is not a sprint but a marathon and if you’re the kind of person who’s impatient and gets discouraged quickly then – in my opinion – blogging is not for you.
On the other hand if you’re looking for a stable and legitimate online business which, over time, can become your main stream of income, then you’ve come to the right place.
A year from now you may wish you had started today.